Bawana election result: AAP wins Delhi bypoll in blow to BJP, Cong doubles votes
The Aam Aadmi Party retained north Delhi’s Bawana seat by winning the bypoll with 59,886 votes on Monday, in a verdict that comes as a setback for the BJP that had hoped to wrest the constituency after an impressive show in civic polls this year.
Though the Congress once again failed to open its account in Delhi assembly, the result is being seen by the party cadre as a boost for the organisation, which has lost a string of elections in the city over the past years and saw a steady decline in the number of votes polled.
The by-election to Bawana was necessitated after the AAP’s sitting MLA Ved Parkash quit the party and become the BJP’s candidate this time.
After the final round of counting, the AAP won by a margin of almost 24,000 votes. The BJP garnered 35,834 votes while the Congress got 31,919 votes. This means the Congress has more than doubled its tally of votes over the 2015 assembly elections while the BJP saw its number of votes plummet almost by half.
The AAP fielded party volunteer Ram Chandra, who had contested assembly polls from Bawana in 2008 on a BSP ticket. The Congress fielded party veteran and three-time MLA from Bawana Surender Kumar.
Delhi chief minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal attributed the victory to “clean” politics and his government’s performance in the Capital.
AAP (Delhi) convener Gopal Rai, who led the party’s campaign in the Bawana, thanked the voters and the volunteers for the victory.
Delhi Congress said its performance in the election was “quite satisfactory” as its vote share has increased drastically since the last election.
“We will further consolidate our efforts. The election result proves that the Congress is an important player in Delhi. Our vote share has increased while that of both AAP and BJP has gone down,” said Ajay Maken, chief, Delhi Congress.
SETBACK FOR BJP
Though the BJP emerged a distant second, the outcome is a setback for the saffron party because it was resignation of its candidate, turncoat Ved Parkash, from the Delhi assembly as AAP legislator that necessitated the by-election.
The BJP fielded turncoat Parkash despite opposition from within the saffron ranks, hoping it would continue its winning streak riding the Modi wave as it did in Rajouri Garden bypoll besides a consecutive third term in the municipal corporations earlier this year.
The party insiders feel the ‘liability’ of explaining “why the party fielded Ved Parkash who quit midway’ proved ‘decisive’ in the end.
“It is almost a repeat of the Rajouri Garden bypoll when the AAP failed to explain the voters why Jarnail Singh quit. The decision of the party to field Parkash split the party cadre on the ground, which also gets reflected in the number of votes its candidate got,” said a Delhi BJP leader.
BJP leader Gugan Singh, who won the seat in 2013 assembly election and emerged runner up in 2015, quit the party and joined AAP days ahead of the bypoll. Former BJP councillor Narayan Singh also switched sides to join AAP in the last leg of the campaign.
The outcome is also a reversal for the party from the civic elections as the saffron party won three of the six municipal wards. While one each went to AAP, Congress the sixth was won by an independent.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said it’s time to analyse why the party failed to win the election. “The fact is that AAP has managed to retain the seat. We made every possible effort to snatch it but could not succeed. We will look into the issues and take corrective measures. We should learn from our failures and we will certainly take it as a lesson,” he said.
CONGRESS FAILS TO OPEN ACCOUNT
The Congress, which was approaching the election as a window of opportunity, once again failed to open its account in Delhi assembly.
The only solace that the grand old party could derive is that its number of votes increased from 14,000 odd votes in 2015 assembly elections to 31,919 votes in the bypoll.
“The vote share has been increasing for the party. It increased from 12% to 38% in Rajouri Garden bypoll. Similarly, the vote share of the party also increased in municipal elections as compared to 2015 assembly. It’s a positive sign for the party,” a Delhi Congress leader said.